Comfier Sleep by Alex Irving 4 minutes

Daylight Savings sleep tips

It’s like clockwork (zing). In the lead-up to every April, we google “when does daylight savings end?”, only to wonder “when does daylight savings start?” every October. For something that has happened twice a year the entire time we’ve been earthside, you’d think we’d have the whole when is daylight savings? thing in the bag. And yet – here we are.  Before we get into the best Daylight Savings sleep tips, there’s a few other bits and pieces to cover off. Let’s crack on…

What is Daylight Savings?

Australian Daylight Savings Time (ADST) refers to the six-month period in which some Aussie states alter their time from Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to “gain” an additional hour of sunshine in the afternoon/evening. To “gain” an afternoon hour – you guessed it, we have to “lose” a morning hour, which can make us groggy upon waking whilst acclimatising to the time shift. 

For the layman, some Aussie states have decided to perform a little witchcraft and just – change their time by an hour? – so that their residents can enjoy sunny afternoons after work throughout the summer months. When the cooler months fall, the time is dropped back to AEST so we “gain” an hour in the mornings, but it becomes darker earlier in the evening. 

When is Daylight Savings? 

Ah, that ol’ chestnut. The most foolproof way to recall when Daylight Savings takes place in Australia is to remember that time springs forward and falls back. Yes yes, we say “Autumn” not “Fall”  in Australia, but “Springs forward and Autumns back” doesn’t have the same ring to it – don’t @ us. 

Now, like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day – Daylight Savings End isn’t a set date each year. Rather than searching “extra hour sleep daylight savings time”, remember that the first weekend in October marks the beginning of Daylight Savings, and the first weekend in April marks the end (and another hour of sleep woo hoo!). Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 

Daylight Savings sleep tips 

If we haven’t drilled the message home just yet, here it is: 

🌙 When clocks “fall back” by an hour each April, we initially “gain” an additional hour’s sleep (huzzah!), but this additional hour fades away relatively quickly as we get used to the shorter night hours throughout the winter months. 

🌞 When clocks “spring forward” by an hour each October, we initially feel like we “lose” an hour’s sleep as that hour is tacked onto our afternoon time. Whilst we never celebrate a reduction in sleep, we are all for sun-drenched afternoons frolicking al fresco. 

Adjusting your sleep to Daylight Savings time isn’t all that dissimilar to adjusting to a new time zone or sleeping with jetlag. The good news is, Daylight Savings is actually far easier to cope with compared to larger, or odd time difference shifts. 

The clock change in April is much easier to deal with than the loss of an hour in October. This is because our circadian rhythms don’t like to wake up at a time they’ve been programmed to sleep through for the last six months. However, after 3-4 nights, your internal clock should naturally rejig itself to the new program. 

Here are a few Daylight Savings sleep tips to help reduce sleepiness while you’re waiting for that natural rejig: 

🌞 Make your bedroom as naturally bright as possible straight away upon waking 

🌞 Go outside in the early morning, ideally without sunglasses to let sunlight directly into your eyes 

🌞 Consider your exercise schedule, exercising outside in the morning sunshine where possible, and reducing or avoiding strenuous activity right before bedtime 

🌞 Don’t let all the regular advice go out the window: maintain a good bedtime routine and sleep hygiene 

🌞 Set yourself up for success. Investing in the right mattress, pillow, bedding and sleep routine are the core tenets to help you sleep soundly year-round 

🌞 Dealing with the joys of daylight savings baby sleep? Here’s how to settle a newborn, fast. 

In Spring: 

🌞 Bring your bedtime forward by 15-20 minutes for a few evenings before clocks change in the spring Daylight Savings 

🌞 Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than you need to rise for the first few mornings after clocks change to give yourself a little extra “wake up time”. Yes, even on weekends. 

Why doesn’t all of Australia have Daylight Savings?

PSA: Queenslanders, Northern Territorians and Western Australians – this article ain’t for you. Here’s why: 

🌞 Back in 1992, Queenslanders voted against Daylight Savings time (yes, really), with many residents joking it would confuse the cows too much. The real answer is closer to the fact that seasonal daylight change isn’t as impactful in the tropics and west of Australia, but confused bovines is a far more PR-able story so we’re going to tell that around the dinner table. 

🌞 Western Australians have refused the Daylight Savings trope for the simple fact that they have plenty of sun after work regardless of an extra hour here or there. It’s pretty much always hot, and they’d prefer a little respite of an evening thank you very much. However, the state has trialled Daylight Savings a few times over the years, with the last stint spanning 2006-2009, so who knows what the future holds. 

🌞 The last time Northern Territory observed Daylight Savings time was in 1944 and they just… haven’t reinstated it since. Like their equator neighbours Queensland, NT cops enough UV, so an additional hour of sunlight wouldn’t improve their quality of life as much as in the southern states. 

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